The Minnesota Vikings cut quarterbacks Jake Browning and 2020 seventh-round pick Nate Stanely on Tuesday, leaving third-round rookie Kellen Mond the lone quarterback in the organization other than Kirk Cousins.
That should change in the coming days.
The Vikings are expected to re-sign Sean Mannion, the team’s backup quarterback for the past two seasons, per Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson. Mannion spent the preseason with the Seattle Seahawks and made the 53-man roster before being cut on Wednesday when the Seahawks signed Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Jake Luton.
Browning was told he could still be a backup, so long as he remained on the practiced squad, but those plans changed when the Seahawks released Mannion, Tomasson reported.
It’s unclear if Mannion will sign to the active roster or the practice squad, which has two spots open.
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Mond Given Developmental Advantage on 53-Man Roster
Be it Browning or Mannion backing up Cousins; the plan appeared to have the team’s No. 2 quarterback on the practice squad while Mond remains on the active roster.
Mond is guaranteed more reps as a member of the active roster, a testament to the Vikings’ investment in the Texas A&M product. He would still be the in-game replacement if Cousins went down with an injury, however, Mond likely won’t be the long-term solution at the position if Cousins misses considerable time.
That’s a big if.
Cousins has been one of the most durable active quarterbacks in the league — having not missed a game due to injury in 98 contests over the past six years. That streak could be put to the test given Cousins’ vaccination status and strict NFL protocols. However, he managed to play in all 16 games in 2020 without falling on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Mannion could be activated off the practice squad twice this season, allowing the Vikings the safety to maneuver its quarterback situation several times.
The Vikings could also roster Mannion as a third quarterback on the active roster, but it seems clear that they plan to keep Mond where he stands.
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Mannion Outperformed Browning
Comparing Mannion’s performance with the Seahawks to Brownings with the Vikings may be apples to oranges, but Mannion did outperform Browning statistically in the preseason.
He completed 33 of 49 pass attempts (67%) for 228 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Browning, on the other hand, completed 13 for 33 (39%) for 154 yards, no touchdowns and a pick-six against the Indianapolis Colts.
Mannion, at the very least, provides security for not only the Vikings but also Cousins, who is likely comfortable with Mannion’s presence in the quarterback room. Mond could also benefit from the tutelage of two veteran quarterbacks after working primarily with younger QBs in Stanley and Browning.